Importers expect brisk movement for another record crop of Mexican mangoes this summer.
Through the first week of June, Mexico had shipped about 31 million boxes of mangoes to the U.S., about 2 million more than last year at the same time, said William Watson, executive director of the Orlando-based National Mango Board.
Volume should pick up even more when importers begin sourcing from the Nayarit growing region of Mexico the week of June 17, and the southern Sinaloa region later in the month, Watson said.
“The crop is good and movement is steady,” he said. “As always, we’re keeping an eye on the rains in the producing areas. So far, so good.”
The mango market had stalled a bit in early June, but peak production promised aggressive promotions and brisk movement leading into the Fourth of July, said Chris Ciruli, partner in Nogales, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros.
Mexico is on track to ship 10% to 15% more than last year’s record total of 58 million mangoes, Ciruli said.
“Volumes will be high and pricing very reasonable,” Ciruli said. “There are plenty of ad opportunities.”
Ciruli Bros., which is shipping only Champagne (ataulfo) mangoes now, is encouraging retailers to promote through the Fourth of July and after, Ciruli said.
Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce received big volumes of Mexican fruit in early June, but the size profile on tommy atkins mangoes was smaller than the company would like, saleswoman Sabine Henry said.
That should turn around, however, when Central American begins receiving larger kent fruit in mid-June, Henry said.
In early June, larger fruit was selling at a $2- to $2.50-per-box premium over smaller fruit, Henry said. As kent volumes increase, however, that gap should shrink to closer to 50 cents.
On June 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $5-6 for one-layer flats of tommy atkins mangoes 7-9s, up from $4.50-5 last year at the same time.
Central American expected to source from the Mexican growing regions of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima before the big Sinaloa volumes began arriving at the end of June.
Fruit shipping in early June was peaking on 16s through 20s, right where retailers like them, and eating very well, Ciruli said.
Demand should be strong all summer in all channels, Watson said.
“More consumers are taking mangoes home than ever before,” he said. “Retail support has been great. As well, consumers are seeing more mango options on menus in restaurants all over the U.S. this summer.”
Central American’s Mexican volumes were up 35% over last year at the same time, thanks to growing demand, Henry said.
“It’s unbelievable. People are buying them every day.”